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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Portuguese team checks on Abu Salem after he complains about prison blues

The Portuguese officials, accompanied by the CBI, visited Abu Salem in jail after he complained that the clauses of the extradition treaty with Portugal were being flouted.

mumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2018 23:03 IST
Faisal Tandel
Faisal Tandel
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Abu Salem was extradited from Lisbon, Portugal, in 2003.
Abu Salem was extradited from Lisbon, Portugal, in 2003. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

Taking note of repeated complaints by Abu Salem, two officials from the Portuguese embassy in Delhi, along with members of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), visited the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai on Tuesday to check its overall condition and the facilities given to the convicted gangster.

Salem, who was extradited from Lisbon in Portugal in 2003, had complained that the clauses mentioned in the extradition treaty were being flouted.

The team of Portuguese and CBI officials entered Taloja jail at 11:45am. They recorded Salem’s statement in the presence of Rajvardhan Sinha, inspector general, prisons, Sadanand Gaikwad, superintendent of Taloja jail, and Salem’s lawyer Saba Qureshi. The process went on till 2pm.

Qureshi said, “Salem was not asked about his deportation or parole, but only about the conditions in the jail. The embassy officials had come with a questionnaire.”

Gangster Abu Salem, who was arrested in Lisbon in Portugal on September 20, 2002 and extradited to India, has been repeatedly complaining to the Portuguese authorities that the conditions set for his extradition were being violated
He claimed he was awarded long prison terms, which is in violation of the agreement
In 2014, Salem first moved the Portugal court complaining about breach of extradition conditions
After moving the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to cancel his extradition to India and transfer him back to Portugal, Salem wrote to the Portugal ambassador to India, stating his conviction in the 1993 blasts case is another breach of his extradition treaty
He requested the Portuguese ambassador to help him send his petition to the Supreme Court of Portugal
He had raised questions on the verdicts of the TADA court, which sentenced him to 25 years in jail.

Salem was asked about the attack on him in 2013. “Salem said a bullet was fired at him when he was reading in his barrack. We told the embassy officials that Salem is kept in anda (isolated) cell, with 20 other hardened criminals. He said he was bored of reading newspaper throughout the day and needed someone to chat with,” Qureshi said.

She added that Salem also complained about the quality of food and that toilet and bathroom were inside the barrack.

The embassy officials wanted to see the cell where Salem was lodged, but were not allowed in as they did not have the mandatory prior permission from the state government.

Salem also said he had requested the authorities to shift him to some jail in Uttar Pradesh, as his sister, brother and other family members are based in Azamgarh, and they find it difficult to come to Mumbai to meet him.

First Published: Jun 13, 2018 08:01 IST

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